Gander Mountain Facing Lawsuit Because Someone They Sold a Gun to Broke the Law

May 22 2014
by GSL Staff
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gndrI sincerely feel for the victim’s families in this case, however, I just don’t think lawsuit is justified in the slightest.

I’m sure many people will remember the case from Christmas Eve 2012 in which William Spengler, from New York, killed his sister, lit their home on fire, waited on emergency personnel to respond and proceeded to open fire on them with a semi automatic rifle.

Spengler was prohibited from owning guns and would not have passed the background check procedure to purchase one. So, he used a neighbor, Dawn Nguyen, to purchase the rifle he used in the crime for him at a Gander Mountain sports store.

According to The Star Tribune, the suit claims several factors play into the decision to sue,

The suit spells out that gun buyer Dawn Nguyen entered Gander Mountain with Spengler, who was prohibited from owning firearms after a conviction for killing his 92-year-old grandmother with a hammer. Nguyen, Spengler’s neighbor, filled out the required state and federal forms identifying herself as the purchaser and paid $1,425 in cash for a semi-automatic rifle and a shotgun.

Gander Mountain’s staff should have known that the purchase was being made for someone who was barred from possessing firearms, the suit continued, pointing out that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has warned that indicators of a straw purchase include multiple firearms being bought in one transaction, more than one person entering the store together and purchases made with cash.

Nguyen, now 24, was convicted in April of falsifying a firearms form when she bought the guns. She was sentenced Monday to at least 16 months in prison. She and Spengler’s estate are named as co-defendants in the suit.

The suit is seeking punitive damages for the victim’s families as well as requiring additional training for Gander Mountain employees.

Guess who is included on the legal team for the plaintiffs in this case? The Brady Campaign.

Gander Mountain is strongly opposing the suit (as they should). Also from The Star Tribune,

A spokesman for Gander Mountain, the nation’s largest outdoors outfitter, said the company had been forthcoming in the investigation and is committed to safety.

“We will vigorously defend ourselves in this matter,” spokesman Jess Myers added.

Shelley Leeson, who heads the Twin Cities Gun Owners & Carry Forum, said trying to hold Gander responsible for the incident was “bogus.” She accused the advocates behind the suit of “playing the emotions of the victims’ families to further their gun control agenda to punish manufacturers and retailers.”

Traditionally gun manufacturers and sellers have not been found liable in civil lawsuits when they acted within the law.

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